Tarot cards have been used for centuries as a tool for divination, self-discovery, and spiritual guidance. The ancient symbols and imagery on each card hold deep meaning and wisdom, and by tapping into this knowledge, we can gain a better understanding of ourselves and our world. Let’s explore the history of tarot cards, how they …
No greater divination tool exists than tarot. Tarot is a direct line of communication with the universe, and the better you get at pulling tarot cards and reading them, the better you stand to get at virtually every other aspect of your life, spiritual and otherwise.
Look, there are people who learn to tap into their gifts at a very young age; some people are more open and find their gifts easier to access.
But for those of us who find ourselves blocked from our spiritual gifts, tarot is an ideal way not only to communicate with our divine selves but also to help ourselves open up those natural gifts more and more.
Yes. Natural gifts. Every single one of us has natural gifts we are born with. We all have a sixth sense and myriad other spiritual traits we come into this human life with. Author and witch Mat Auryn talks about these gifts in his book Psychic Witch.
He notes that just as we all have the ability to see, smell, touch, taste, and hear, we all also have the ability to communicate with the universe and “see” things beyond the physical world.
The most common psychic gifts are:
You see things beyond our physical dimension – spirits, auras, etc.
You hear voices or whispers from beyond the veil.
You have a feeling about things. Sometimes your skin will prickle or the hair on the back of your neck will rise.
You know things will happen before they do. This can come during waking times or while you are asleep in the form of dreams.
You just know. Your intuition is strong, and your first impressions are rarely, if ever, wrong.
These gifts come along with other spiritual personality traits like being an empath, communing with animals, being a warrior. Many of us have archetypes and gods we respond best to, and those often guide us to our gifts.
I have been a spiritual witch my whole life, and for many years I simply accepted that I was not gifted. I never had any obvious gifts.
I did not have premonitions in my sleep. I never heard voices or saw ghosts. I was way too literal minded for all that. My third eye was blocked like you have no idea.
Then one day I sat with a friend who is a strong clairvoyant, and I told her I had no gifts. She looked me in the eye and said, without a beat: “you’re claircognizant.”
My whole world cracked wide open. Yes! For my whole life I have just known. I could never explain it, but I am an excellent judge of character. I have never been steered wrong by someone, and shady people, including abusive and narcissistic men avoid me like the plague.
I radiate strong “I see through you” energy.
We all have gifts. It is just a matter of opening up enough to access them.
The primary rule for anything to do with the universe is to open up.
You want to access your gifts? Open up.
You want to work with crystals? Open up.
You want to pull tarot? Open up.
My medium friend recently told me I was fully open at all my chakras except for my crown chakra. And that I would never fully come into my gifts, never fully access my power, keep playing small, as long as I had my crown chakra blocked.
I am too literal minded! I need evidence and proof and validation from the physical world!
And yet, those human insistences are what hold me back time and again.
So as you venture through your spiritual witchiness, be consistently mindful of opening, opening, opening. Then opening some more.
Tarot can actually really help with that.
The History of Tarot
Tarot cards actually began as simple playing cards back in 1400s Italy. Since the printing press had not taken off yet, hand painted cards were all that existed, and it took a considerable amount of money to commission and buy a set.
The game was similar to the modern-day Bridge game.
Wealthy families would sit and play with these “tarocchi” cards that had suits, trump cards, and pips.
Tarot cards for divination only began hundreds of years later, in the 1700s, when a Frenchman named Jean-Baptise Alliette published a guide for tarot card reading. He released his own deck and included a definitive meaning to each card, drawing on astronomy, astrology, and the four elements.
He cited the ancient Egyptian text, the Book of Thoth, which is said to have been written by the Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth.
Today, most people interested in beginning to study and practice tarot use the Rider-Waite deck, released in 1909 by publisher William Rider and tarot reader A.E. Waite. You can find a great guide to reading this deck at the Biddy Tarot website.
Often, tarot reading is confused for the card reading and divination practiced by Gypsies.
While there is a rich tradition of fortune telling and divination among the Romani Gypsies, with some modern-day witches able to trace their lineage all the way back to Egypt, the Gypsies typically drew divination cards from a 52-card deck that included four suits. It is often referred to as the Gypsy Oracle Deck.
What Are Tarot Cards, Exactly?
The tarot card deck actually began as a traditional 52 card deck, as mentioned above, and then evolved out as Alliette created his own deck to include a total of 78 cards.
The tarot deck is typically divided into two, Major Arcana and Minor Arcana.
The Major Arcana are the most powerful and impactful cards in the deck. All 22 of them stand as a strong message for your reading, if you should pull one. They represent universal situations we all face in life and speak to where you are in your own life when pulled.
The Minor Arcana are divided into four suits: cups, swords, wands, and pentacles, and they represent smaller issues you are confronting on a daily basis.
Cups Cups cards represent your emotional state.
Swords Swords speak to your intellectual mind.
Wands Wands reference your intuition.
Pentacles Pentacles symbolize the material world.
It is rare for someone in a reading to pull a single tarot card. More often, you pull tarot in conjunction with other cards, and you read them all together.
No Fear Tarot
It is important to note that you have nothing to fear from tarot cards. People inexperienced in tarot, just like with witchcraft, love to freak out about the death card or the tower card.
In reality, the death card stands for major transformation. As the Buddhists say, we all die each night and are born again each morning.
Life and death occur several times throughout our lives, in vastly different metaphorical ways. It is critical to allow parts of ourselves to die so that we may rise again from the ashes, like the phoenix.
Same goes for the tower card. It is a card of challenge and struggle, of overcoming, and striving. This is where opening up becomes so important.
When you can remember, always, that you are a child of a loving and deeply wise universe, you will trust that everything is always working out for your highest good.
What would the human experience be without new challenges to face, new struggles to overcome, without death and rebirth.
Nothing. That’s what. We might as well have remained in divine form and never bothered to become human in the first place.
Do not fear whatever tarot cards you might pull. Trust that their message is one that is guiding you toward your highest good.
How to Pull Tarot
Practice makes perfect, as they say, and with tarot, you must practice, practice, practice.
Remember, you are not just learning what each card means, you are learning how to interpret those cards for the day, the person, and the context.
It is a good idea to start pulling tarot for yourself every morning to get a feel for the cards.
Have a guide bookmarked, like the Biddy Tarot linked above, and begin.
Meditate Get yourself into a free, easy, open space by sitting quietly for ten minutes before you pull your cards. You want to silence all the noise and worry before you communicate with your divine self.
Shuffle When you shuffle your tarot deck, get really open and free. Turn them upside down, mix them up, shuffle them, then turn half the deck upside down again, and shuffle again. Really play with your cards and get a sense for them as your deck. I recommend everyone begin with the Rider-Waite deck as they have the most obvious guides and are easiest to read.
Cut When you are done shuffling, cut your deck in half, placing one half to the right of you, facedown, and one half to the left, face up.
Deal Deal from the top of the open deck on your left. Deal yourself three cards exactly as they come from the deck, not righting them if they are reversed.
Open Up and Interpret Use your guide to read the basic message for your cards are. Interpret them in ways that mean something to you and what you are experiencing. Be sure to put them all into context together as well. This is an art, and art takes creativity and practice. Over time, you will become a master of this art, and you will find all your friends begging you for readings.
Remember to have fun with this! Tarot is a wonderful way to speak to your divine self, who always has your best interests at heart and is much more powerful than you realize. Open up and experiment.
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